Casinos Reopened in America and Austria but Still Closed in Finland

Casinos Reopened in America and Austria but Still Closed in Finland
Casinos Reopened in America and Austria but Still Closed in Finland Pixabay

Land-based casinos have gradually been reopening around the world. Hit hard financially during the coronavirus pandemic, American casinos in Connecticut, Nevada, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Las Vegas have started to invite people to wager inside their premises. Despite the government’s objection, Foxwoods Resort Casino and Mohegan Sun opened their doors to gamblers, and multiple Las Vegas area hotel-casinos will follow suit on the 4th of June. Customers’ demand to visit the Las Vegas Strip had been so strong that many casino operators rushed to welcome back their staff and players to a casino resort environment. Among hotel-casinos resuming operation in Las Vegas at the beginning of June are Caesars Palace, Boyd Gaming, the Cosmopolitan, MGM Resorts, Silverton, the Strat, Treasure Island, and Golden Nugget.

At the end of May, casinos came back to business in Austria, with Casino Austria opening its twelve venues across the country. Shut down in March, casinos are beginning to reopen also in Africa. As soon as the government in Botswana had eased the quarantine restrictions, casino owners immediately restarted operations of the Grand Palm Hotel, Casino, and Convention Resort. Far from wondering when is the best time to play slot games , African gamblers could enjoy them uninterruptedly 24 hours a day from the very first moment of the post-quarantine gambling season.

Yet, as elsewhere in the world, there are new quarantine limitations in the Botswanan Grand Palm Hotel: 50 percent of its slot machines are still switched off to prevent people from gathering around them in large groups. The number of players at poker tables and roulettes are also limited. Other casinos, likewise, take necessary precautions to keep coronavirus at bay, issuing new safety protocols. Gamblers and employees are now required to wear facial masks and sanitize their hands. There are also temperature checks at the entrance and free COVID-19 tests to employees and their families. Those visitors who try to get in casinos with uncovered faces are denied entry. The state Department of Transportation has even erected portable electronic signs near Foxwood Resort Casino and Mohegan Sun asking gamblers to avoid large crowds.

Some countries are easing their lockdown restrictions but keep their casinos still closed to the public. On the first of June, Finland allowed its citizens to eat in restaurants and coffee shops. Finns can now watch various sport matches at the stadium and celebrate family events outdoors, provided they do not invite more than fifty guests. What Finnish people cannot do still is to return to gambling in brick-and-mortar casinos and Feel Vegas premises. Because doctors anticipate that, with the removal of lockdown, the number of infected people in Finland will jump by 40 percent, Veikkaus, the Finnish national gambling operator, is still hesitating to go back to its usual gambling activities.

All gambling sites and slot machines in supermarkets and gas stations still remain closed in Finland, and so do Casino Helsinki, Feel Vegas, and Palaamot. Nor has Veikkaus resumed customer events in casinos. Lottery draws are still suspended, too, though coupon games and scratch cards have continued being sold throughout the coronavirus pandemic. Like lottery draws, raffle draws will remain on hold until the government lifts their suspension. However eagerly Finnish gamblers are awaiting the reopening of land-based betting houses, they have no choice meanwhile but to confine themselves to new online casinos, called in Finnish “ uudet nettikasinot ” which have rapidly been growing over the internet. Or they can enjoy a rich supply of Veikkaus games run on its apps and online networks.

What Finnish gamblers should bear in mind, however, is that Veikkaus has recently reduced monthly and weekly loss limit for its online casinos. To help gamblers out in the trying time of the coronavirus pandemic, the gambling agency has lowered the monthly loss limit from €2,000 to €500. It has also cut down the maximum daily loss limit from €1,000 to €500. Finns should note, therefore, that if they lose €500 in a day, they will not be able to play for the rest of the month. The new rules apply to online bingo, slots, and all table games, excluding poker, and will be in force until the end of September.

By updating rules of its digital casinos , Veikkaus aims not only to support its customers during the lockdown but also to minimize the losses of the Finnish casino industry. The latest statistics reveal that so far, the revenue of the gambling sector in Finland has dropped by more than 40 percent, and experts fear that it might sink deeper, if land-based casinos do not welcome gamblers in the near future. Only the reopening of casinos in Finland will arrest the industry’s downward movement in 2020.

Due to the pandemic, the gambling industry is in decline around the world, not only in Finland. According to the latest estimates, the lockdown will drive gambling revenues in America and Canada down by 9.2 percent. Europe will suffer a 22.8 percent drop, and so will Asia. If the global casino industry weathers the storm this year, this will happen exclusively with the assistance of digital gambling. Its revenue is expected to climb by 16.7 percent, which will certainly help the gambling industry to pull through the pandemic.   

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